One year after Gaston County broke ground on a new business park in the hopes of luring diverse companies to the area, a German company announced it will bring its U.S. headquarters to Gaston, along with more than two dozen jobs and millions of dollars.
Knoll America, a supplier of conveyor systems, filter systems and metal processing pumps, announced the move along with North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders at Gaston College on Tuesday. Knoll America is the U.S. subsidiary for German-based KNOLL Maschinenbau GmbH.
The company plans to work closely with Gaston College to set up apprenticeship programs in the area, Knoll Chief Executive Officer Lothar Burger said. The company has a total 1,200 employees.
And proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, along with seaports in Charleston, Wilmington and Norfolk, Va., plays a big part in the company’s decision to base its North America headquarters in the Charlotte area, Burger said.
“Also I have to say the Carolinians are very friendly,” he added. “We felt very welcome from the very beginning.”
Jobs and investments
The company’s move will create 31 jobs that will pay an annual salary of more than $51,009, Sanders said.
Gaston County’s average annual salary is $42,018, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.
The company’s expansion includes a $7.8 million investment in Gaston County, Sanders said.
The new location will allow Knoll America to serve most America customers within one day — including Apple, which recently announced it would bring a campus, along with $1 billion and 3,000 jobs, to Raleigh.
The company will receive a performance-based grant of $75,000 from a state fund after fulfilling job creation and investment targets, according to the governor’s office.
Knoll will build a 60,000-square-foot facility, as well as a new production center, including a showroom, warehouse and distribution center, on a 12-acre site in Apple Creek Corporate Park.
The business park is a recent development in Gaston County. The county broke ground on Apple Creek in 2020, the Gaston Gazette reported last June.
Gaston County Economic Development chairman Robert Brown praised the county for its work in attracting new jobs to the county through the creation of the business park.